For a variety of reasons, Linda wasn't with me when I first encountered Marbled White and Silver-spotted Skipper, both of which can be found just twenty minutes from her mum's house, on the chalky slopes at Aston Rowant, by the M40 on the way to Oxford.
Today we left Maidenhead straight after breakfast to visit this lovely reserve, in hopes of remedying this oversight! We abandoned the car at the top of the Chilterns at the Cowleaze Woods carpark and walked downhill through the beautiful flower-meadows. Red Kites and Buzzards wheeled overhead, while the warm breeze carried the scents of Peppermint and Wild Thyme. (This is beginning to read like a Gerald Durrell book!)
Marbled Whites, Large and Small Skippers and Common Blues were plentiful, but star species for me was the beautiful Gentians that grew in isolated patches on the south-facing slopes. Since we had a lunch-date, we were a little pressed for time, and walked back up the other side of the valley. Suddenly, just the other side of an electric fence, I spotted the only definite Silver-spotted Skipper of the morning, resting on a scabious flower.
With Ring-necked Parakeet, Grey Wagtail and Mandarin at Boulter's Lock last night, we've more or less cleaned up the Berkshire specialities!